The Leisure and Cultural Services Department will present Cantonese opera performances by the Koon Kwan Tin Cantonese Opera Troupe in December and January. The programme will comprise "Romance by the Peach Blossom Lakeside", "Return from Battlefields in Victory to Marry Caifeng" and "The Bound-feet Liu Jinding Crashes Four Gates". Performing in the shows are renowned Cantonese opera virtuosi Lung Koon-tin, Wong Chiu-kwan, Chan Hung-chun, Liu Kwok-sum, Lai Yiu-wai, Sun Kim-long and Cheng Wing-mui.
"Romance by the Peach Blossom Lakeside" is about Ren Jincheng, Prince of Eastern Qi, who falls in love with a village girl, Zhu Danfeng. However, the Emperor's sister is displeased with their love and forces them to separate. Later, Ren goes to Nanping with a proposal for the Queen with a view to soliciting her help to strengthen Eastern Qi. Not until Ren arrives at the imperial court does he realise that the Queen is the village girl he met earlier. Ren is therefore made the husband of the Queen. However, the Second Princess of Nanping strongly objects to the marriage and accuses Ren of molestation. Unable to defend himself, Ren is deprived of the title and suffers a grave insult. The angry Ren then returns to Eastern Qi, swearing to seek revenge for his humiliation. Meanwhile, the two Princes of Western Shu and Northern Zhou strive to be the first to capture Nanping so as to marry the Queen and get the state. Suddenly, Nanping is encircled by enemy forces on different sides.
"Return from Battlefields in Victory to Marry Caifeng" is set in the time of Emperor Zhuang. Realising that the national strength of the Sung state is weak, he makes use of the beauty of Princess Caifeng to lure the states of Cai, Han and Zhao, saying that a hero from the most powerful state may marry the Princess. By allowing a marriage to take place, Sung could benefit from the support of a strong state. General Gai Shiying from the state of Cai, after having surpassed other candidates in a heated debate, wins the Princess. But, defeated by General Gai, the Princes of Han and Zhao rise up and stage a joint attack on the state of Cai. General Gai falls into the hands of his enemies but is lucky enough to have Princess Caifeng rescue him. Princess Caifeng is bright and witty while General Gai is courageous and impetuous, and this makes them a perfect match. After enduring a lot of difficulties, they finally live happily together.
"The Bound-feet Liu Jinding Crashes Four Gates" begins when the Song Emperor Zhao Kuangyin is trapped in Shouzhou city. Gao Junbao, under the orders of his mother, leads an army to save him. Passing by Mount Shuangsuo, he runs into Liu Jinding, the chief of the brigands residing on the mountain. Jinding is putting up a stone plate indicating that she is looking for a husband. Her boastfulness enrages Junbao and it prompts him to break the plate, and the brigands get into a fight with the soldiers. Jinding outdoes Junbao in tactics to the extent that she can thrice capture and release him. Junbao is won over eventually. Before his departure, he leaves her as a token for their engagement the golden mace awarded to him by the Emperor. Junbao then moves on to Shouzhou for his rescue mission. There, however, he is overcome by a nasty cold that makes him bedridden. All he can do is write a letter to Jinding to express his tender feelings. Worried about her love, Jinding decides to go to his help. She crashes through four barricades to rescue the Emperor and his followers, and then cures Junbao of his persistent ailment.
Details of the performances are as follows:
"Romance by the Peach Blossom Lakeside"
December 26; Auditorium, Tsuen Wan Town Hall
"Return from Battlefields in Victory to Marry Caifeng"
January 12, 2012; Theatre, Ko Shan Theatre
"The Bound-feet Liu Jinding Crashes Four Gates"
January 16, 2012; Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall
Performances start at 7.30pm. Ticket prices ranging from $100 to $280 are now available at all URBTIX outlets, on the Internet and by telephone credit card booking. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and their minders, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis).
For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7325, or visit
www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/Programme/en/chinese_opera/00000322.html. For ticketing enquiries, please call 2734 9009. For credit card telephone bookings, please call 2111 5999. For Internet bookings, please visit www.urbtix.hk.
A pre-performance meet-the-artists session (conducted in Cantonese) hosted by Lung Koon-tin, Wong Chiu-kwan and Chan Hung-chun will be held at 3.30pm on December 26 (Monday) at the Lecture Room, Tsuen Wan Town Hall. Patrons are welcome to attend with free admission. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Ends/Monday, November 14, 2011